The objective of this study was to describe the association between thermal measures in the barn environment (pen temperature and humidity) and fecal shedding of Salmonella in dairy cattle. A repeated cross-sectional study was conducted within a commercial dairy herd located in the midwestern United States. Five pooled fecal samples were collected monthly from each pen for 9 mo and submitted for microbiological culture. Negative binomial regression methods were used to test the association [incidence rate ratio (IRR)] between Salmonella pen status (the count of Salmonella-positive pools) and thermal environmental parameters [average temperature and temperature humidity index (THI)] for 3 time periods (48 h, 72 h, and 1 wk) before fecal sampling. Salmonella was cultured from 10.8% [39/360; 95% confidence interval (CI): 7.8% to 14.5%] of pooled samples. The highest proportion of positive pools occurred in August. The IRR ranged from 1.26 (95% CI: 1.15 to 1.39, THI 1 wk) to 4.5 (95% CI: 2.13 to 9.51, heat exposure 1 wk) across all thermal parameters and lag time periods measured. For example, the incidence rate of Salmonella-positive pools increased by 54% for every 5°C increment in average temperature (IRR = 1.54; 95% CI: 1.29 to 1.85) and 29% for every 5-unit increase in THI (IRR = 1.29; 95% CI: 1.16 to 1.42) during the 72 h before sampling. The incidence rate ratio for pens exposed to higher temperatures (> 25°C) was 4.5 times (95% CI: 2.13 to 9.51) the incidence rate ratio for pens exposed to temperatures, <25°C in the 72 h before sampling. Likewise, the incidence rate ratio for pens exposed to THI > 70 was 4.23 times greater (95% CI: 2.1 to 8.28) than when the THI was < 70 in the 72 h before sampling. An association was found between the thermal environment and Salmonella shedding in dairy cattle. Further research is warranted in order to fully understand the component risks associated with the summer season and increased Salmonella shedding.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research|
|State||Published - Jul 1 2016|
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